The company that builds their unique brand of high performance vehicles opens their doors every year, inviting Saleen owners and fans to display their cars and stroll through the factory facilities. Saleen vehicles spanning three decades were on display along with other popular muscle cars.
The event is a chance for owners to meet Steve Saleen and get their cars signed as well as rub elbows with other like minded car enthusiasts. This year well over 100 cars were in attendance from the 1980’s Fox Body Mustangs all the way to Saleen’s newest models.
Making a special appearance at the show were two new Saleen Mustangs. For 2014 the 351 Extreme makes its comeback with an enlarged supercharged engine good for about 700 horsepower. The low production 351 is the most powerful and most expensive Saleen Mustang to date.
Pricing starts at about $82,000 and ranges up toward $100,000 for a fully optioned convertible with custom paint like this one in a bright shade of “Orange County Orange”.
Also pleasing the crowd was the George Follmer edition Saleen. Part of the new Heritage Collection, the car celebrates legendary race car driver George Follmer and his #16 1969 Mustang BOSS 302. It’s custom graphics, 19” Panasport style wheels and custom rear fascia make it visually unique.
The interior gets custom leather trims in red and black with special logos throughout. This first production model is signed by both Steve Saleen and George Follmer. Under the hood is a naturally aspirated 5.0 liter V8 with 470 horsepower.
Walking around the show and taking in the sights, it’s clear that the Saleen brand is alive and well in the hearts of owners and enthusiasts. Mustangs of course dominated the landscape but a number of Saleen Camaro and Challenger models were represented. There were also some lesser remembered Saleen vehicles like the Explorer and Focus.
The highlight of the open house is of course the opportunity to take in the sparkling facilities. Steve Saleen has always had a penchant for making his factory and offices a show place, and his newest headquarters doesn’t disappoint.
The showroom and lobby is cleanly laid out with lots of displays of the company’s racing heritage, product parts, and of course apparel. Their famous Mustang race car from the 1990’s is on display, always a favorite with its distinctive graphics.
The factory itself looks more like a showroom with clean shiny floors, decorated walls with movie posters Saleen cars have appeared in, and generous architectural details. It’s hard to believe that cars actually get built in here.
But build cars they do. The process starts when new cars arrive from either Ford, Chevrolet, or Dodge. Parts like stock bumpers, wheels and suspension are removed and replaced with Saleen’s high performance products. They move to different stations for each step of the process.
Some cars get a comprehensive engine transformation with the installation of a supercharger to boost horsepower, using Saleen’s unique supercharger systems. Others will get an entirely new custom built engine such as with the 351 Extreme Mustang.
Saleen designed body parts including fascias, skirts, and spoilers are custom painted to match and installed along with custom wheels to give the cars their distinctive look. Graphics and badges are added as well as custom interior trim to give them the finishing touch.
Once completed the new Saleen Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers head to dealerships all around the country to become what Saleen calls “Power in the hands of a few”.
Since the company was founded Steve Saleen has always offered a touch of class and exclusivity to his unique brand of vehicles and products. And as we see today, this tradition continues.